Details Descriptions About :: heart failure

Heart failure causes symptoms treatment 

Description of Heart failure

DefinitionAccording to dictionary definition  Heart failure (or congestive heart failure) does not mean that the heart stops working entirely, but it is a condition in which the functioning of heart is severely reduced, and it cannot pump enough blood needed for day to day activities.  Causes and Risk FactorsAccording to dictionary definition  Common causes and risk factors of the disease are:1. Age: Aging weakens the heart muscle; thus, people of 65 years or older are at an increased risk of heart failure.2. Obesity: Excess weight puts strain on the heart and increases your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. These diseases can lead to heart failure.3. Birth defects: Children having congenital birth defects can develop heart failure.4. Coronary heart diseases5. Diabetes6. High blood pressure7. Other heart conditions or diseases: Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), diseases of heart valves, enlargement of heart (cardiomyopathy), past history of heart attack.8. Other factors that injure the heart muscle like alcohol abuse or cocaine and other illegal drug use, HIV/AIDS, thyroid disorders, treatments for cancer, such as radiation and chemotherapy.  Signs and SymptomsAccording to dictionary definition  The most common signs and symptoms of heart failure are:1. Shortness of breath2. Weakness3. Swelling of legs, abdomen, and veins in the neck4. Weight gain due to fluid retention5. Frequent urination6. Rapid or irregular heartbeat7. Reduced ability to exercise8. Persistent cough worse at night or wheezing with white or pink blood-tinged phlegm9. Lack of appetite and nausea10. Difficulty concentrating or decreased alertness  InvestigationsAccording to dictionary definition  There is no single test that can diagnose heart failure. If the physician suspects that a patient is presenting with signs and symptoms of heart failure, he will recommend following battery of tests:1. ECG (electrocardiogram): To assess the heart’s electrical activity and how fast the heart is beating, if its rhythm is steady or irregular.2. Chest x-ray: This test can show whether your heart is enlarged, you have fluid in your lungs, or you have lung disease.3. BNP blood test: This test checks the level of a hormone in your blood called BNP (brain natriuretic peptide) which rises during heart failure.4. Echocardiography: The test shows the size and shape of your heart and how well your heart chambers and valves work.5. Coronary angiography: Coronary angiography allows your doctor to see the flow of blood to your heart muscle and how well your heart is pumping.6. Cardiac MRI: The test produces both still and moving pictures of your heart and major blood vessels.7. Blood tests: To check for kidney, liver, and thyroid functioning.  TreatmentAccording to dictionary definition  Medications will be prescribed based on the type of heart failure, how severe it is, and patient €™s response to certain medicines. The following medicines are commonly used to treat heart failure:1. Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors2. Beta-blockers3. Diuretics4. Aldosterone antagonists5. Isosorbide dinitrate6. Angiotensin receptor blockers7. Digoxin  Complications and When Should You See a DoctorAccording to dictionary definition  If you have heart failure, it is necessary that you visit your doctor regularly to keep a close watch on your health. Following complications may occur and should prompt you to visit a doctor immediately1. Kidney damage or failure due to reduced blood supply because of heart failure seen as reduced urine output2. Arrhythmias3. Liver damage  Prognosis and PreventionAccording to dictionary definition  Prognosis of these diseases is inconsistent.  1. You must take your medications regularly to help relieve the signs and symptoms of heart failure and prevent the condition from worsening.2. Monitor your blood glucose levels, blood pressure regularly3. Modifying your lifestyle like avoiding smoking, alcohol, and illegal drugs4. Eating healthy food, restricting salt intake, maintaining healthy weight, exercising regularly, reducing stress, and sleeping well can be helpful.  



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